Quantcast
skip navigation
Home ARTICLES & NEWS MESSAGE BOARDS RECRUITING Schedules HISTORY & STATS GOPHER TRADITIONS DONATE SITE INFO

Road to Selection Sunday: Crystal Ball Sees Gophers Finishing 4th In Big Ten Race

12/31/2012, 9:30am CST
By SelectionSunday

Beat State!

IT'S GO TIME, Minn. -- Let's get it started. Finally, the main course has arrived. The cupcakes have been devoured and the hors d'oeuvres enjoyed, though not necessarily fully savored. Simply put, for college basketball fans across the country, it's "conference time", better known as getting to the games that matter the most.
 
Just a few hours from now, Big Ten fans can start separating the contenders from the pretenders. I can't think of a better way to end 2012 than watching the Gophers host Michigan State (1 p.m. Williams Arena, ESPN2) in a rockin', rollickin' Barn, then scoot home as fast as I can (but safely) to catch what's remaining of the Indiana/Iowa game (3 p.m. Carver-Hawkeye Arena, ESPN2). But before we sing Auld Lang Syne, let's sneak in one last RTSS for 2012. Two months of mostly nonconference games has taught us many things, most notably in my mind:
 
A. Indiana is really talented offensively and remains one of the favorites (but not "the" favorite) to cut down the nets in Atlanta. However, the Hoosiers have more warts than many of us thought, and the Pacing & Clapping Maniac (Tom Crean) didn't help his squad much by playing a boatload of truly awful teams.
 
B. The Mountain West is really good this season (Boise State plays basketball, too?), but will the MWC be able to translate that into NCAA Tournament success?
 
C. At least for now, Mason Plumlee, not Cody Zeller, is the best big man in the country.
 
D. Even though this is Big Ten Country, we should pay attention to the Big East race in 2012-13. Next March in Madison Square Garden will be the final "real" Big East Tournament, and we should treasure those five days (yes, even the sparsely attended first two rounds) in New York.   
 
E. The Gophers have the goods to dream big, and I fully expect them to start delivering that message, in full, this afternoon at Williams Arena. This is a team that has the talent, experience, and coach to compete with any team in the Big Ten. Now there's just that minor detail of proving it on the court. I would advise casual Minnesota sports fans to jump on the bandwagon in the very near future. ... there's plenty of room.
 
Now, on to our odds and ends. ...
 
B1G Predictions
1. Michigan (national title aspirations in Ann Arbor are legitimate)
2. Indiana (Hoosiers have one of the more difficult conference schedules)
3. Ohio State (had hard time deciding this spot among Buckeyes, Gophers, and Sparty)
4. Gophers (a major step; Goldy gets the 1st-round bye that I covet in Big Ten Tournament)
5. Michigan State (Green & White will be a lot better in March than it is right now)
6. Iowa (Like what Fran McCaffery is doing, and the Hawkeyes have the softest league schedule)
7. Illinois (the fact Illini are this low shows how ridiculous this league is)
8. Wisconsin (typically I don't undersell Bo Ryan, but Badgers don't have guards that will travel well in this conference)
9. Purdue (I know this; Matt Painter's young squad will get better as the season goes along)
10. Nebraska (this wouldn't be a bad landing spot for Tim Miles' 1st season)
11. Northwestern (season unofficially ended when Drew Crawford was shut down until 2013-14)
12. Penn State (no Tim Frazier means this season's all about playing hard & future gains for underclassmen)
 
I see the top 7 making the NCAA Tournament, with the Badgers as the Big Ten's only representative in the NIT. 
 
Other Major Conference Winners (Regular Season)
1. ACC -- Duke (in a runaway)
2. Atlantic 10 -- VCU (tough call, with Butler and Temple in the title mix)
3. Big East -- Louisville (Cards now may be the odds-on favorite to win it all)
4. Big 12 -- Kansas (if I had to pick one coach to lead my program, I'd call Bill Self) 
5. Mountain West -- UNLV (Rebels will be even better when Mike Moser returns)
6. Pac 12 -- Arizona (not brain surgery to pick Sean Miller's Wildcats)
7. SEC -- Florida (experience will win out over Kentucky's youth and Mizzou's "newness" to the league)
 
Today's Call
Goldy 72, Sparty 58
 
Mano-a-Mano Report: Top 8 Conferences Head to Head
Standings
1. Big East (38-21, 64.4%)
2. ACC (30-21, 58.8%)
3. Big Ten (31-22, 58.5%)
4. Pac 12 (28-26, 51.9%)
5. Big 12 (20-20, 50%)
6. Mountain West (12-13, 48%)
7. Atlantic 10 (21-36, 36.8%)
8. SEC (19-40, 32.2%)
***The Pac 12 (4.5 games per team) and Big Ten (4.416) average the most games played (per team) vs. the other seven conferences, while the Mountain West (2.777) averages the least.
 
Big Ten in the RPI (includes future members)
2. Michigan (12-0)
10. Illinois (12-1)
11. GOPHERS (12-1)
19. Indiana (12-1)
25. Michigan State (10-2)
44. Ohio State (10-2)
60. Maryland (11-1)
63. Nebraska (9-4)
64. Iowa (11-2)
100. Rutgers (9-2)
122. Northwestern (9-4)
127. Penn State (8-4)
146. Wisconsin (9-4)
188. Purdue (6-6)
 
Gophers' Nonconference Opponents in the RPI
1. Duke (12-0)
46. North Dakota State (9-3)
67. Stanford (9-4)
85. South Dakota State (7-5)
96. Florida State (8-4)
97. Memphis (9-3)
140. Richmond (9-5)
145. North Florida (4-8)
151. USC (5-8)
173. Tennessee State (5-7)
194. Toledo (4-6)
271. American (4-9)
300. Lafayette (4-10)
 
The Unconquered
The list of undefeated teams has shrunk to 4. ... who they play next.
1. Arizona -- host Colorado on Thursday
2. Duke -- vs. Davidson (in Charlotte) on Wednesday
3. Michigan -- @ Northwestern on Thursday
4. Wyoming -- @ SMU on Wednesday
 
Field of 68 Projection (through games played Dec. 30)
America East (1) -- Stony Brook (76)
ACC (5) -- Duke (1), NC State (4), Miami-Florida (15), North Carolina (24), Maryland (60)
Atlantic Sun (1) -- Florida Gulf Coast (77)
Atlantic 10 (3) -- Butler (6), VCU (27), Temple (29)
Big East (7) -- Louisville (9), Syracuse (20), Georgetown (34), Cincinnati (39), Pitt (55), Notre Dame (66), Marquette (80)
Big Sky (1) -- Weber State (93)
Big South (1) -- Winthrop (149)
Big Ten (7) -- Michigan (2), Illinois (10), GOPHERS (11), Indiana (19), Michigan State (25), Ohio State (44), Iowa (64)
Big 12 (4) -- Kansas (3), Oklahoma State (16), Baylor (38), Kansas State (70)
Big West (1) -- Long Beach State (116)
Colonial (1) -- William & Mary (262)
Conference USA (1) -- Southern Miss (59)
Horizon (1) -- UIC (68)
Ivy (1) -- Harvard (69)
Metro Atlantic (1) -- Canisius (48)
MAC (1) -- Western Michigan (51)
MEAC (1) -- Norfolk State (183)
Missouri Valley (4) -- Creighton (17), Wichita State (18), Indiana State (31), Illinois State (58)
Mountain West (6) -- New Mexico (8), UNLV (14), Colorado State (26), Wyoming (28), Boise State (36), San Diego State (41)
Northeast (1) -- Wagner (109)
Ohio Valley (2) -- Belmont (22), Southeast Missouri State (206)
Pac 12 (4) -- Colorado (5), Arizona (7), UCLA (43), Oregon (65)
Patriot (1) -- Bucknell (30)
SEC (4) -- Florida (12), Missouri (35), Tennessee (42), Kentucky (52)
Southern (1) -- Davidson (89)
Southland (1) -- Stephen F. Austin (50)
SWAC (1) -- Southern U (90)
Summit (1) -- Western Illinois (163)
Sun Belt (2) -- Middle Tennessee State (40), Western Kentucky (84)
West Coast (1) -- Gonzaga (13)
WAC (1) -- Louisiana Tech (92)
 
Last 4 in: Middle Tennessee State (40), Illinois State (58), Iowa (64), Marquette (80)
 
First 4 Out: Murray State (32), BYU (33), Ole Miss (45), Stanford (67)
 
Non-BCS At-Larges (12): UNLV (14), Wichita State (18), Belmont (22), Colorado State (26), VCU (27), Wyoming (28), Temple (29), Indiana State (31), Boise State (36), Middle Tennessee State (40), San Diego State (41), Illinois State (58)
 
Others Considered: Oklahoma (21), North Dakota State (46), LaSalle (49), LSU (53), Iowa State (56), George Mason (57), Saint Louis (78), Santa Clara (79)
 
Upset Special (still pitchin' a doughnut)
Record: 0-7
Last Time Out: New Mexico State over New Mexcio (L, Lobos won 68-63)
This Week: Iowa over Indiana (today)
 
Beat State.

Talk about college basketball and the Golden Gopher Basketball Team on the Tubby's Barn message board.

Tag(s): Gopher Basketball